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A gourmet cycling weekend in northeast Victoria

Alia Parker's picture
Milawa Gourment Region Pedal to Produce bicycle trail. Cycle Traveller

Picture a quaint trail through rolling hills basking golden in the afternoon sun; you're meandering along on your bicycle; you stop to lean it against a giant old oak, take a break to taste some gourmet cheese, sip a fine glass of wine. You fill your basket with jars of homemade olives, mustard and relish. Breath it in. No, you're not in France, nor anywhere in Europe, not even close. You're in the Milawa Gourmet Region in northeast Victoria on one of the region's idyllic Pedal to Produce bicycle trails.

Located just 13km from the township of Wangaratta, Milawa and its surrounds are well known for their exceptional wines and farm-gate produce. Understandably, the region has become a popular destination for weekend bike trips because, as all cycle travellers know, nothing quite caps off a lovely ride as well as good food and a great beverage.

Cycling in the region can be tailored to any fitness level, with options for a small loop out to Everton or a larger loop taking in Wangaratta. The trail is also relatively flat and largely sticks to the well known Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail. (Milawa Gourmet Region Bicycle Route Map.pdf)

For those touring along the Murray to the Mountains trail, Wangaratta and Milawa make for a great place to pull up for the night, with accommodation ranging from small B&Bs to a five star hotel.

Cyclists should also pull into the aptly named Cafe Derailluer – the local pit stop for local road cyclist – located across from the VLINE train station in Wangaratta. (For non-mechanical types, a derailluer is the part of the bike responsible for shifting the chain to another gear.)

For those who are unable to bring their bike with them, the local council, Brown Brothers wines and the Milawa Cheese Factory, have teamed up to provide free bicycles and helmets to visitors, making cycling in the region accessible to everyone. So if you're in need of a bike for a day or two, head to Brown Brothers in Milawa where you can pick one up.

Emma Keith, tourism development officer for Wangaratta, says the free bike program was introduced to encourage culinary adventures for both visitors and locals.

"By providing the bikes, helmets and Pedal to Produce baskets as a complimentary experience, it encourages those who may not have bikes with them, to still be able to enjoy the romance of cycling to the producer."

The Milawa Gourmet ride is just one of many options available among Victoria's Pedal to Produce suggested bicycle routes. You can find out more information at the Pedal to Produce website.

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